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I Like Sarah Palin

. . . well, pretty much, to a certain extent, as politicians go. But I’m not going to vote for her.

Come to think of it, I like John McCain pretty well also, but again, I’m not going to vote for him.

I think it is unfortunate that so many Americans seem to feel the need not only to vote against a candidate, but to really despise that person and to think that they should not be regarded as even worthy of consideration.

I am not unaware that Sarah Palin has said some questionable things about her own record, nor am I pleased that Republicans try to pretend she has more or better experience than Barack Obama. In fact, to Republicans who complain about what Democrats are doing to Palin, I would simply point out their own behavior. To Democrats who have been complaining, I would point again to their response now.

It seems to me that many of the people who claim that they want cleaner and nicer politics are first to make snide remarks and insinuations about the candidates. They are quick to forgive similar behavior on their own side, and quick to condemn it on an opponent’s side.

Not that politicians don’t give us plenty of opportunities, which is something we should also consider.

Take, for example, the “bridge to nowhere” and Palin’s involvement in it. If a local politician doesn’t make every effort to get federal money for his or her city, county, district, or state, it’s likely he or she will not be re-elected. When one moves onto the national scene, one has to be against such pork-barrel projects.

Why? Because we, the citizens don’t think it’s pork when it happens where we live. Here it’s “infrastructure development” and “investment in our future.” Over there it’s pork. As a politician on the national scale, of course, what was done locally is now pork, because it wasn’t where most of us live. In fact, it wasn’t in a place most of us have visited.

This doesn’t excuse the spin. It just says that we won’t have politicians on the national scene who haven’t lived through the pork-gathering phase locally because we won’t elect them locally unless they bring us pork.

Frankly, I like all four folks on the major presidential tickets, though I think Biden is the least inspired. Nonetheless, as politicians go, he’s not a bad guy either. I don’t think we’re electing pure scoundrels in either case. I am substantially in favor of Obama, and that’s how I plan to vote, but that’s a finely balanced decision based on policy, not on despising the other team.

There are so many important issues before us, that if we spent our time simply going through the plans and potential policies of each team, we could profitably spend the time between now and election day. I don’t really expect that to happen.

But even though I won’t get what I want, I’m tuning out all of this stuff. I’m bound to hear it, since I watch politics, but I’m just not interested. What little gets said about policy, I’m tuned in for. As for the rest of it, when I see a blog post title or a news headline that looks like it’s some more character nitpicking, I’m going elsewhere for my reading.

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  1. Henry –

    One exception to your statement “It just says that we won’t have politicians on the national scene who haven’t lived through the pork-gathering phase locally because we won’t elect them locally unless they bring us pork” is Tom Coburn. Here you have someone who is despised by the right and the left because he refuses to play political games and refuses pork for his home state. His book, “Breach of Trust”, is a must-read – he hammers into the phony politics of his own side pretty good. I wish _he_ would run for president!

  2. Excellent post. For some reason we Americans seem to care a whole lot more about how much we emotionally connect to candidates than any real nuanced understanding of their platforms. So we spend millions and millions on advertising designed to convince us that the other guy is the devil and (though less often) that our guy is an All-American super man.

    Maybe this is one of the peculiar evils of allowing the ‘common folk’ (people like me and my neighbors) to participate in government, since, as a whole the throngs of ordinary people are too busy with the rest of life to be especially well-educated to the issues or deeply thoughtful in how we vote.

    Besides (sarcasm here), if all the adds were simply educational about the platforms, we’d all tune out since that would lack violence and sex and therefore not be entertaining.

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